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5 Light and Relaxing Games to Calm You Down When Life Gets Overwhelming

Besides Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing.
5 Light and Relaxing Games to Calm You Down When Life Gets Overwhelming
IMAGE Unpacking/Witch Beam, Garden Story/Rose City Games, Cozy Grove/Spry Fox
Besides Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing.

The past couple of years have been rough for all of us. That said, being stuck in quarantine basically led us into branching out from our usual everyday routines and rediscovering our interests. Some fell in love with baking, while others got the chance to pick up a paintbrush again. However, this one’s for the folks who've fallen into the world of gaming or those who are curious but are still testing the waters first before grabbing that controller. So get your App Store and Steam accounts ready because here are five cozy and relaxing games you can play whenever you need an escape from the world.

5 light and relaxing games to play when you need to calm down:

1. Garden Story

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, macOS

If you enjoyed Stardew Valley, then this game is right up your street. Garden Story follows Concord, the newly appointed Guardian of the Grove. Here, you will gradually rebuild the town and establish your roots. Join our young leader as he earns the trust of the residents by accomplishing their requests and defending the village from the dangerous Rot that is threatening to harm their home. This game is a shot of nostalgia that you simply won’t get enough of. 

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2. Unpacking

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series X

To all the neat freaks out there, this game is perfect for you. Unpacking is a zen puzzle game that requires you to unpack the possessions of the invisible protagonist. While you neatly arrange and organize their belongings, you gradually learn about the life of the person who owns those objects. As it moves forward, you will have more rooms to decorate and more boxes to empty out. There’s something about organizing and rearranging a room that just fills you with a sense of accomplishment. Hey, maybe this game might even inspire you to redecorate your own room. 

3. Cozy Grove

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PLayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, iOS

I mean, just take a look at the title. Need I say more? Cozy Grove is a life-sim game where you play as a Spirit Scout stranded on a haunted island. Here you will finish tasks, rebuild the town, and befriend its otherworldly residents. Listen to the slow trickle of the rain or the crackle of a campfire as you traverse the island in this slow-paced game filled with hidden puzzles you're sure to enjoy. 

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4. Spiritfarer 

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Spiritfarer is an indie management simulator that is guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings. The game follows Stella, a ferrymaster tasked to sail open waters and guide lost spirits into the afterlife. As the aforementioned protagonist, you will manage and expand the boat you’re manning in order to accommodate the spirits as you accompany them in completing their final requests before they move on into the next world. The game is philosophical in a way that will actually make you think and reflect about life and what comes after it. Although it tackles serious topics regarding death, the storytelling and execution will help you find comfort and give you a sense of fulfillment as you say goodbye to each guest you have helped.  

5. Old Friends Dog Game

Platforms: Android, iOS

Dog lovers out there will definitely enjoy this wholesome, Studio Ghibli inspired mobile game. It’s actually made in collaboration with the real life Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee. Here, you will build your own haven as you nurture and take care of the dogs by petting and playing with them. You can even bake treats for them! This light and innocent game will warm your heart as you foster man’s best friend. Not to mention you might also want to give your very own fur babies a tight hug by the end of it. 

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